When you own and operate a business, one of your responsibilities is ensuring that everyone inside of the building is safe during emergencies. As part of these responsibilities, ensuring that the fire extinguishers are charged and ready for use in case of a fire is essential.
However, you may be uncertain as to whether the ones in your building are ready for use. If so, periodically look for the following signs that your building's fire extinguishers need to be recharged.
1. Gauge on the Top of the Extinguisher Reads Low Pressure
Look on the gauge on top of one or more of your business building's fire extinguishers to determine if they need to be recharged. Looking at the gauge should be a part of your weekly or monthly inspections. You can also glance at the gauges every once in a while as you walk by to see what the pressure levels are reading.
If the pressure reads below the markings for the normal range, this indicates that either the propellant level inside of the canister is low, or that the contents have either depressurized or even leaked out. Either way, the extinguisher may not come out with enough force to reach a fire if needed, and it should be recharged as soon as you notice a low reading.
2. Safety Seal on the Nozzle Is Broken
Another sign to look for when trying to determine whether a fire extinguisher needs recharging is a broken safety seal. The safety seal is located on the nozzle and should have a label that lists the date it was attached as well as provide a place to document when the seal is checked during routine inspections.
If the safety seal has been broken, there is a chance that the unit's contents may have leaked out because of tampering or accidental pressing of the nozzle. To be safe, you should have the seal checked by a professional so that the fire extinguisher can be recharged if needed.
If you find that the pressure is low or that the safety seal is broken, there is a good chance that the fire extinguisher has lost its contents and may not work properly when you need to use it to put out a fire. If you believe that this is the case, contact a business that offers fire extinguisher recharging services to have them test all of the extinguishers, so that they can refill and reseal any that need it.